Saturday, March 15, 2014

03/15/2014 PM 4 mile jog

Tonight, I got a 4 miler in at a 3% incline for the duration.  I kept the pace at my comfort zone, 8:15ish/mile.  After doing the intervals yesterday, I really just wanted to shake out the muscles and loosen up.  The workout was a total of 34 minutes.  

Tomorrow is my first long run test in quite a while.  I am planning to run a 10 miler at a similar pace to tonight.  Now that the weather hopefully is turning from arctic zone to at least bearable, I am going to crank up the weekly miles.  It will however, be important to add rest days.

As your training starts, or continues, feel free to email me or post on the Facebook page any questions you have.  Also, feel free to include workouts, runs, recipes, etc. you want to share.  I am always looking for stuff to try food wise or running wise.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

03/14/2014 PM Interval Pyramid Run

I just finished a 34 minute run and I'm wiped.  I started with a 5 minute half mile warmup jog.  I then proceeded into the following up and down pyramid.  You should know before looking at my pyramid, that you can do this workout no matter what level runner you are.  All you need to do is figure out what pace you want to run at.  I chose a difficult pace because it is my goal 5K pace.  A beginner can start out simply jogging some or all the legs and taking walk breaks in between.  There are plenty of people out there that could up the pace or distances beyond my choices as well.

I ran all legs at a 6:00/mile pace and stayed with a 200 meter recovery jog between each section.  The legs consisted of:

200 meters in 45 seconds
400 meters in 1:30
800 meters in 3:00
1600 meters in 6:00
800 meters in 3:00
400 meters in 1:30
200 meters in 45 seconds

I then finished with another 5 minute half mile jog to cool down.  I am shooting for the same workout in a couple weeks, but adding a 3200 meter run at the top.  This would also add an extra 1600 meter run on the way down as well.

Again, figure out a pace and give it a try.  It's a great way to forget you are on a treadmill or a great workout at the track.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The first free giveaway by The Daily Fitness Journal!

Good evening everyone.  The first person to leave a message on The Daily Fitness Journal's Facebook page listing what I think are the top 5 books for runners will receive a free gift by mail (or delivery if you are local).  The only guidelines are as follows:

1.  After you receive the gift and are done with it, you must regift it forward.
2.  Sorry Maura, you do not qualify for the sweepstakes.

Good luck and I will take the first message as measured by the time of the post on The Daily Fitness Journal's specific page at:

03/13/2014 Thank you & an AM 7 mile run

First, thank you to all that have checked out my blog, Facebook page, tweets.  It's fun to do, holds me accountable to myself, and I hope it helps some of you realize your own daily fitness goals.  A growing subject of this blog will not only be about me, it will be about the emergence of your achievement of an Active Lifestyle.  As a Physical Education teacher, promoting an Active Lifestyle to 5-11 year olds is my job.  Hopefully, I can promote this to as many people as possible without coming across as a know it all!

This morning, I ran about 7 miles at a pace of about 8:30ish/mile.  It took me an hour and after taking yesterday off, my legs felt great.  Yesterday, my left knee was a little cranky but I attribute that to use not injury as a little rest always turns it around.

Again, thank you to all of you that stop by.  Feel free to like, share, digg, retweet, whatever you can to spread the word.  I can't keep up with all these social media terms!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Guest Blogger, Noreen Karcher, talks about her running and Active Lifestyle

As a new segment to my blog, I will be featuring a guest blogger on occasion to speak about topics that incorporate elements of an Active Lifestyle and specifically running.  Today, I have my sister, Noreen Karcher, featured.  Noreen is an avid runner, reader, greeting card designer (check out Northern Notes), and a great example of someone that leads an Active Lifestyle.  I will let her fill you in more. Thanks Noreen!

Noreen: I define myself as a runner and biker.  I started running when I was 39 yrs old as I felt like I hadn't achieved anything monumentous in my life physically.  I ran my first 5k right after turning 40 and have been running ever since.  I have completed a lot of 5k's and 10k's and one marathon in 2004 and learned so much about the process, the ability to push your body and when to listen to your body.  I love the ability to just go out and run or bike on my own terms.  My running goals have evolved over the years to tracking my 5k times in an excel spreadsheet to now focusing on long runs, building my endurance in running and biking and adding weight training.   Age is only a number in my book.

Since my move to Central VT I have to come to terms with my struggle with loving hills.  I went through a period years ago where I honestly could say I enjoyed running hills and looked forward to it.  I then moved to central Kentucky in 2008 where the town I lived in had rolling hills and one particular hill that I cursed and ran regularly to mentally say I beat Prospect today.  No matter how many times I went up that hill it kicked my butt.  I’ve been running long enough to know it’s 90 % mental 10% physical.  I knew I had to get an attitude adjustment or I would be doomed moving back to VT where there are no flat roads.  

Consequently,  a few weeks ago I decided to start running the stairs at work.  I work on the 1st floor and the “free” coffee and cafeteria are on the 4th floor.  Every day I would walk up the stairs and be out of breath when I got to the top.  It was crazy, I was a runner how is this possible.  Something had to change, so I’m running the 4 flights of stairs twice a week.  I get a half hour for lunch so I’m changing quick, running 15 minutes, changing and cleaning up and back to my office by the end of 30 minutes.  I get more of a work out in 15 minutes then I do when I hop on the elliptical or run on the treadmill for a 30 min workout.  By the end of the 15 minutes I'm pushing myself and mentally cheering myself to push and finish strong.  My goal in the next few weeks is to increase my time to 20 minutes and carry hand weights eventually.  I can see the difference in my hill running outside and my walk up the stairs to the “free coffee”.  

Here is an article from Runners World about stair running for runners.  Get out there and conquer the beast. It’s free!

Here is a tentative list of my 2014 events:

8/9/14  Harpoon Point to Point: (It doesn’t hurt that it starts and ends at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT. 

TBD  Climb Camel’s Hump On my bucket list.  I’m so doing this hike this year.  

The Daily Fitness Journal on Facebook

I just started a Facebook page for The Daily Fitness Journal.  I hope to figure out how to get the blog to feed directly to the page.  In addition, I will use the page to jot down quick notes related to my content and want to see it as a vehicle for questions from you, race inof, anything anyone would like to share to the community.  Here is the link:

03/12/2014 AM Walk and the Active Lifestyle

Good morning,  this morning I was able to put in a good, fast 20 minute walk.  I like to do this when I can so I can actively recover my muscles, joints, etc. from several days in a row of workouts or runs.  It's also a great way to up the heart rate a little and plan some things out in my head.  I have a couple important meetings coming up and want them to be productive.  Both will impact me professionally for years to come.

In some manner, the ability to walk during your work day can serve multiple benefits.  Two of these are listed above, but also, an active lifestyle promotes health.  Whether you are a runner or not, a healthy lifestyle is important.  Mentally and physically, you do a great service to yourself by being active.  

Do something today to be active for at least 15-20 minutes.  More on topic this from a guest to the blog in the coming days.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

03/11/2014 PM 7 mile run, fast finish.

Tonight, another mild temp night, another run on the treadmill.  I set my incline to 2.5-3% throughout the first six miles and ran at a pace of 8:15/mile.  The same as last night, but a mile longer.  The big difference tonight besides that, was mile number 7 that I finished fast.  

At the 49:30 mark, after 6 miles, I dropped the incline to the bottom setting of 1.5%.  I then kicked up the speed and ran the final mile at 5:50/mile pace.  That is screaming fast for a final push, but also a great way to build strength and speed for late in a race.  It also is the pace that I would like to hold for a 5K in the fall of 2014.  That pace would translate to a 5K time of 18:07ish.  

How does this work into your plan?  Finish fast for yourself at a test pace that makes sense.  Whether you are on a treadmill or not, decide to turn up the speed to finish.  Even if it is only for the last 30 seconds or so, it builds strength and confidence.  It's a great start.  I didn't start out by finishing fast for a mile.  

You have to start somewhere.  Your starting point is great because it's right for you.  You answer to no one but yourself.  Build yourself up!

Monday, March 10, 2014

03/10/2014 PM Treadmill Run

A nice mild weather day today translated to a 5 mile run on the treadmill tonight.  I kept the incline at 2.5% the whole time.  My pace was about 8:15/mile and I felt good.  

Later this week, I plan on doing a tempo run, a speed workout and a couple basic jogs.  This will round out my week with different speeds and distances involved.  I will be posting some info later this week regarding training paces.

The only real issue I had was that we ate dinner late and I found out the hard way that tacos need a little more time than just an hour in the stomach before a run.  I think I will keep my run at least 2 hours post tacos.  I need some Tums!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

So you want to be a Runner? Beginner's Tips

Anyone can be a runner.  What type of runner you are depends on what you want and what you do. Some want to race, some want to blow off stream, some want to become part of a social circle, and some just want to get exercise.  Whatever your reasons, you have to start somewhere right?  Below I have 10 tips for the beginner that either worked for me or that I read about and now pass on to you. Remember, these are my thoughts and ideas, use what you like, forget what you don't.  I am not an expert, but I have tried a lot, read a lot, and talked/listened to runners of a variety of performance levels.  I'm just offering my opinions.

1.  Accept that it is tough to start!  

Running isn't easy.  In the beginning especially, you may not have the fitness to go more that a couple minutes at a time.  This is ok.  The human body reacts well to exercise though and before you know it, you could be going longer and farther than you ever thought you could.  

2.  A run/walk strategy is a perfect way to start.

There are a lot of beginner programs are out there.  If you google beginner training plans, everyone has a plan for you.  You need to find one you are comfortable with.  Some say this many minutes jog, then walk this many specifically.  Others are completely different.  One possible plan is the run/walk strategy.  While keeping track of the time, jog slow for as long as you can.  When you stop, walk for 1 minute.  Repeat this combination a couple times, ending with fast walk.  Your goal should be to have at least 20 minutes on your feet total.  If your ending fast walk is 10 minutes to get to 20 minutes total at first, that is completely fine.  If you can get to 20 minutes doing the jog/walk strategy, go for 25 or 30 minutes total.  Your ending fast walk should be at least 5 minutes.

3.  Do not over do it, rest is important. 

The basic theory of fitness is this.  Work your muscles and make them tired, sore, and torn.  Rest the muscles, they heal and become stronger.  When you are first starting out, it is important to get plenty of rest.  Aim for 3-4 days of running a week.  If you want to do other stuff other days, ease into it, but always have one day of complete rest.  Your and your body deserve it.

4.  Cross training of all types helps your running.
By definition, cross training refers to anything you will do that isn't running.  Biking, walking, strength training, snow shoveling, skiing, you name it!  All types help build fitness and get you strong. Also, the strengthening of your body as a whole will help you protect yourself from injury. Cardiorespiratory Fitness (heart and lungs) will continue to build with things like biking, cross country skiing, walking.  Weight training will obviously build muscle and also promotes fat burning and increased metabolism.

5.  Smart nutrition also helps!

Making the decision to start running is a great decision.  A secondary decision that will help is thinking about the fuel you are putting in your body.  Do I want you to completely change everything in your life all at the same time?  No, but start thinking about what is going into your body and make a change or two.  Start simple by adding something good rather than outlawing something.  Instead of saying, "I will not drink diet soda anymore," focus on thinking, "I am going to start drinking more water every day."  In time, you may find yourself choosing to add more things that eliminate others in this same way.  

6.  Get your best friend to join you, or join them.

A support system always helps.  A friend that decides to take on a challenge with you knows and is experiencing things along the same line as you. You can also find support in someone that is already a runner.  If you are reading this post, obviously, you have this blog as a support system.  As your support system, I say, "Go for it!  You can do it!  Being tired goes away in a couple minutes, stay with it."

7.  Start a training log.

There are multiple benefits/reasons to start a training log.  First, it feels good to write down your accomplishments.  Second, it holds you accountable.  Blanks days on a log make you feel guilty. Third, it helps you see what you have done, what you are doing, and you can project and plan ahead. For the last couple years I have kept a paper based training log.  Here is a link to the one I used.  I never got into the whole online training log/calendar.  However, I now use this blog as my training log.  Really, any calendar will do.  I always liked the runner feel to the journal.  

8.  The right sneakers/clothing make a difference.

The right sneakers can keep your feet happy and your body healthy.  They don't have to cost a million bucks, but they should be the right ones for you.  The local running store can put you on a treadmill and watch you run and tell you what type of sneaker you need.  It is either a stability shoe, a motion control shoe, or a neutral shoe.  Once you have this information, you can get sneakers from them or on the internet to fit your type.  I like RoadRunnerSports and RunningWarehouse.  I can usually find coupons online for both sites as well.  As far as clothing, I do not wear cotton, ever.  It holds water, sticks to you, stinks, and is heavy when wet.  Performance apparel can be any price range.  

9.  When something goes wrong, adapt!

Something goes wrong at least once a week for me.  The other day, my stationary bike broke again.  It's annoying, but I have to adapt.  Maybe a family member gets sick at 3am and you are supposed to run in the morning.  Maybe you get stuck in a meeting and cannot get out at lunch for your run.  Who knows, maybe someone stops at your house as you are heading out the door.  Whatever it is, stop and adapt so you can fix it or replace it the best you can.  If you have to scrap the lunch run, tell yourself you will go as soon as you get home or as soon as your wife/husband gets in.  There is a solution, you just have to figure it out.  Make the easiest option, not doing your workout, not an option at all.

10.  Set a goal race or event.

Setting a goal race or event is important.  It gives you a goal to progress toward.  It could be a serious race goal like setting a Personal Record in a 5K, doing your first 5K or other distance, or it could be doing a 1 mile fun run with your daughter.  Maybe you want to do a fundraising event.  Finally, put this goal in your new training log/journal with a big ! next to it and after it happens, record how it went and felt.  

Good luck and I hope you stick with it, for you.